The following article features coverage from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid, Spain. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s conference coverage.

Follow-up visits to the clinic that are minimal in scope may have the same effect on overall survival as intensive CT-scan-based follow ups in patients with completely resected NSCLC, according to the a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Spain.1

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Although guidelines advocate follow-ups consisting of clinic visits and CT-scans, there is a lack of robust data supporting these recommendations. The IFCT-0302 trial ( Identifier: NCT00198341) is the first randomized trial that investigated follow-up in patients with resected NSCLC.

Researchers randomly assigned 1775 patients with NSCLC who underwent complete resection to 2 study arms. Patients in the experimental arm underwent clinical examination, thoraco-abdominal CT-scan plus bronchoscopy, and chest X-ray, and patients in the control arm only received clinical examinations and chest X-rays. For both study groups follow-ups were performed every 6 months after randomization for the first 2 years, then annually until 5 years.

At a median follow-up of 8.7 years (95% CI, 8.5-9) there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) between the 2 study arms (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95% CI, 0.8-1.07; P = .27). For the control arm, median OS was 8.2 years (95% CI, 7.4-9.6) compared with 10.3 years (95% CI, 8.5-not reached) in the experimental arm.

The 3-year disease-free survival rates in the control and experimental arms were 63.3% (95% CI, 60.2%-66.5%) and 60.2% (95% CI, 57.0%-63.4%), respectively.

Eight-year OS rates in the control and experimental arms were 51.1% (95% CI, 47.2%-55.1%) and 55.6% (95% CI, 51.7%-59.4%), respectively

Results of this study demonstrate that at the time of median follow-up, there was no significant difference in OS benefit between intensive follow-up compared with routine follow-up. The study authors concluded by saying however, that “a longer follow-up is necessary not to miss a potential long-term OS benefit of CT-scan-based surveillance.”

RELATED:  Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy Improves Survival in Resected NSCLC

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress by visiting the conference page.


  1. Westeel V, Barlesi F, Foucher P, et al. Results of the phase III IFCT-0302 trial assessing minimal versus CT-scan-based follow-up for completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Presented at: ESMO 2017 Congress; Madrid, Spain: September 8-12, 2017. Abstract 1273O.